Marconi Memorial, Knowles Farm, Niton
In 1900 Guglielmo Marconi set up an experimental radio system on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight at Knowles Farm, Niton, owned by Mr. Kirkpatrick of Windcliffe. Prior to this, Marconi had been experimenting at the Royal Needles Hotel, Alum Bay.
The mast erected by Marconi was one from the Victorian Royal Yacht Britannia and was so long that some walls had to be dismantled to manoeuvre the mast around sharp corners on the road down to Knowles Farm. The base for the mast used by Marconi remains south of the farm.
On 23rd January 1901, Marconi successfully transmitted wireless waves to the Lizard in Cornwall from here, some 196 miles. That was twice the distance of any previously recorded transmission.
Later Mr. Kirkpatrick's daughter had a stone engraved and fixed on Knowle Farmhouse (top picture); the inscription reads:
|THIS IS TO
SET UP A WIRELESS
TION HERE IN 1900
On the corner of a barn at Knowles Farm, on footpath 39, is a modern memorial to Marconi's presence there:
|Knowles Farm and Gugliemo [sic] Marconi (1874-1937)
Gugliemo [sic] Marconi
Italian inventor and pioneer of long distance radio
transmission, Gugliemo [sic] Marconi, set up an
experimental radio system at Knowles Farm in
1900-1901. Situated on the southern tip of the Island,
the location was perfect because it was surrounded
by sea. Here Marconi successfully designed selectively
tuned transmitting equipment, which avoided
interference and also an active 'ship to shore'
At 4.30pm on January 23rd 1901, he transmitted radio
waves from here which were picked up at the Lizard in
Cornwall, some 196 miles away. This was twice the
distance of the previously recorded transmission.
He subsequently moved to Poldhu in Cornwall, where he
was the first person to transmit radio waves across the
Atlantic to Newfoundland, Canada. He had proved that
radio waves follow the curvature of the earth.
- 'Niton Calling' by Niton WI